Nationals Baseball: Wednesday ramblings

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Wednesday ramblings

Talks coming? Well of course they were coming, but the first talks are finally starting up this week. Despite what you might hear the season is not in jeopardy right now, neither is any Spring Training in fact. Pitchers and catchers report around Valentines Day so as long as the deal is struck within a couple days of that date things will be basically normal.  You can probably even go a week+ later and have minimal impact because do pitchers and catchers REALLY need to come early in this day and age where everyone is working out and keeping fit all winter long? No. The answer is no.  The MLBPA still probably strikes a week of ST because they can and the owners don't really care but they don't have to until we actually get TO the ST games. I concede they do need some time to get together and warm up and have eyeballs on players, etc. 

So the timeline as of today is like 5 weeks.  Anything more than that likely causes a disruption. Anything more than like 7 weeks causes major disruption and might cause a delay in the start of the season, mostly because they'll want time to get FA and arbitration sorted out then any actual physical reasons. 

Lester retires. Lester was signed last year with the hopes he could pitch a bit better or get a bit lucky or both and anchor the back of the Nats rotation. That quickly became a moot point as the rest of the rotation fell apart with Stras' injury, Ross and Fedde continuing their "not quite good and healthy enough to stick, not quite bad and old enough to dismiss" dance, and Patrick Corbin suddenly becoming truly terrible. But even though the point was moot we should note he did not pitch better nor did he get lucky.  He was a 5.00+ERA pitcher and basically got those results. That's a passable 5th for most teams but not good enough for a team hoping to compete with other rotation issues 

As it is a passable 5th he might have been able to sneak out another season somewhere, eating up innings, mentoring some young arms and throwing to 5.00 ball but he has succumbed to the late career apathy that takes many stars. Lester has enough money and traveling around the country with a bunch of guys he doesn't know dealing with aches and pains of trying to pitch while aging for no real end goal is not super appealing.

Where does he stand in MLB history? One of the best LHSP of the first post steroid era. Good story recovering from a treatable form of cancer. Not a HoFer.  Somewhere better than a guy like David Price, worse than a guy like Tim Hudson. 


Steven Grossman said...

If Lane Thomas sticks and become a regular with multiple years of control...does Jon Lester get any credit for that or only Rizzo?

Nattydread said...

You called it. They will try to work something out. Guessing that there have been low-level discussions going on through back room channels the whole time.

Unfortunately, the voice of the fan doesn't feature in the negotiations. As much as players never forget to thank us, telling us that "we're the reason they do it" and all of that, this fight seems to be over a cake that we underwrite. But there has been precious little effort during the lockout --- from either side --- to ask us what we fans want out of this.

In my own ramblings, I watched The Battered Bastards of Baseball on Netflix --- about Bing Russell's minor league Portland Mavericks. It was uplifting to see someone get players out on the field who played for fun and for fans screwed by the cut-throat departure of their AAA Beavers. Independent "A" level baseball unencumbered by MLB transactions, winning, giving people who came to watch a good time. Also interesting to see Jim Bouten as the only actual MLB-level player, reviving his career with the franchise while he sold books and stuck it to the man.

Harper said...

SG - All Rizzo baby!

ND - The fan never matters. But that's no different than anything else. The UAW and the major auto companies don't argue on car buyers behalfs either. The only way the fans could get involved is if they unite and that won't happen because it's a huge and disparate group (both in beliefs and in actual physical location)

Sounds interesting. Might watch